How to Make Your Photos Really ‘Pop’ in iPhoto ‘11 for Mac

| How-To

By now, my regular readers realize that I like to expose them to useful apps and features that are free and usually included on just about every Mac. You may be a typical Mac user interested in maximizing your productivity with existing tools and apps. Why spend extra dough for specialty or advanced utilities, when what you may really need is right there in front of you. It’s this way with photo editing apps.

I have been teaching courses in both Adobe Photoshop and iPhoto for several years. As for the powerhouse app, Photoshop, I see many eager students quickly become dispirited due to its many complex aspects. In fact, most students I see taking these courses are mostly interested in “quick-and-dirty” ways to edit and “fix” their digital photos. For these, iPhoto is the ideal editing tool.

By the way, why the quotation marks above? Because, as I tell all of my students, you should never engage in sloppy photography (“sloppytography”) because you know you’ll “Photoshop” it later on the computer. Always strive to get the best shot you can in the camera. That includes exposure, composition, cropping (“zoom with your feet” if you have to), and focus. Don’t rely on what’s known as post-processing to solve image problems.

Cartoon image of a photographer holding camera with one hand

Holding a camera in one hand makes this feller a Sloppytographer

That said, every digital photo can stand a little punch and pop by boosting contrast, or tweaking the saturation, or even pulling out some detail from shadow areas. If necessary, a modicum of exposure repair can be made up to a point for those once-in-a-lifetime shots that suffer from a bit of under or overexposure.

In this article, I will show you how to use the more advanced editing tools built right into iPhoto ’11 for OS X. iPhoto comes on every Mac, and it  actually includes fairly sophisticated tools now, compared to earlier versions.

Next: Image Editing in iPhoto

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